Even if students come to France with their own health insurance, the French Government requires non European Union students (EU) spending more than 3 months in France to register to the French health insurance, called “Sécurité sociale”. The registration is free of charge. « Sécurité Sociale» reimburses medical (doctor’s appointment, medicines, bioanalysis, medical examinations) and hospitalization costs. However, Sécurité Sociale does not refund 100 % of medical and hospitalization costs. We strongly recommend that international students get supplementary health insurance.
Membership in the French social security system is free and compulsory. It entitles you to coverage of your health care expenses for the duration of your studies.
Before your arrival in France
Get a complete copy of your birth certificate (including filiation), you can generally get it from the consulate. This does not need to be translated into French.
Once you have arrived in France
- Collect the certificate of your enrolment in your host faculty or host school (or "Attestation de scolarité") from its academic department.
- Open a French bank account (to receive your health care reimbursements)
- Connect to the registration platform and upload :
- Your certificate of enrolment from your academic department
- Your birth certificate
- Copy of your passport
- Depending on your situation, a copy of your visa CESEDA validated by OFFI or your Visa with the mention “Dispense temporaire de carte de séjour »
- An official banking information slip ("RIB") in your name
You will then be able to download a provisional certificate ("Attestation provisoire de carte vitale") that will enable you to be refunded your health expenses. Within a few days, you will receive your "Carte Vitale".
How does Sécurité Sociale Work ?
Detailed tutorial on how to Register for Sécurité Sociale:
Sécurité Sociale does not refund 100 % of medical and hospitalization costs (about 70% in most situations). It doesn’t cover you if you travel outside of France, in case of repatriation or for civil liability. Private health insurance and supplementary health insurance aim to reimburse all or a part of your remaining medical expenses which are not covered by Sécurité Sociale. They are not compulsory and costs vary depending on the insurance company and the option chosen.
There are 2 main complementary student insurance companies